Unjust Verdicts

The Appeal in Krasnoyarsk Confirmed the Sentence of Aleksandr Filatov - 6 Years in Prison for Faith in Jehovah God

Krasnoyarsk Territory

On July 20, 2023, a panel of judges of the Krasnoyarsk Territory Court, chaired by Tatyana Lukyanova, upheld the verdict against 38-year-old Aleksandr Filatov. The father of two young children has already been transferred to the penal colony No. 31 in the village Industrialniy (Krasnoyarsk).

Filatov was convicted on charges of "organizing the activity of a banned extremist organization", but in fact for discussing the Bible with his fellow believers. He still maintains being not guilty of extremism and has the right to appeal the verdict in cassation procedure. In his appeal, the believer stated that the court violated his rights guaranteed by Article 28 of the RF Constitution: "I committed the actions underlying the conviction within the framework of freedom of religion."

The defense pointed out that the court did not apply the explanations of the Plenum of the RF Supreme Court, according to which believers have the right to hold meetings for worship if they do not contain signs of extremism. Aleksandr Filatov stated: "The presence of extremist goals and motives in my actions has not been proven. The verdict does not quote any extremist statements."

The persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia has been going on for more than six years and is gaining momentum, despite condemnation from the world community. In the Krasnoyarsk Territory alone, 30 believers are facing criminal prosecution for their faith. Almost half of them were already sentenced: five have been sent to a penal colony, four have been given suspended sentences, and three have been fined.

The case of Filatov in Krasnoyarsk

Case history
In July 2021, the Krasnoyarsk Investigative Committee initiated a criminal case against Aleksandr Filatov, who at that time lived in Novorossiysk (Krasnodar Territory). Just because of his religion, he was accused of organizing the activity of an extremist organization. After a search, the believer was detained and taken 5,000 kilometers away to Detention Center No. 1 for the Krasnoyarsk Territory. The charges against Filatov were based on the testimony of two secret witnesses. In January 2022, the criminal case was brought to court, and in December 2022, Judge Gruzdev sentenced Filatov to 6 years in a general regime penal colony. This is exactly the punishment the prosecutor had requested. In July 2023, the court of appeal upheld the verdict against the believer.
Timeline

Persons in case

Criminal case

Region:
Krasnoyarsk Territory
Locality:
Krasnoyarsk
Suspected of:
According to the investigation, "he committed actions of an organizational nature aimed at continuing the illegal activities of Jehovah's Witnesses, expressed in the leadership of this organization, the direct conduct of religious meetings."
Court case number:
12102040005000127
Initiated:
July 9, 2021
Current case stage:
The verdict entered into force
Investigating:
Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Oktyabrsky District of Krasnoyarsk
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation:
282.2 (1)
Court case number:
1-207/2022 (1-865/2021)
Court of First Instance:
Октябрьский районный суд г. Красноярска
Judge of the Court of First Instance:
Сергей Груздев
Background